Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fire Star Press New Release -- White Christmas By Cheryl Pierson -- Giveaway!

Cheryl is giving away a free ebook of her short story White Christmas, so be sure to comment and leave your information so she can contact you.

Since her divorce, busy ER nurse Carlie Thomas has been only too happy to spend Christmas on duty. This year, however, she’s decided to take a much-needed break. What she gets instead is an unexpected houseguest, courtesy of her Uncle Rick.

Derek Pierce, a fireman with no family, needs some special care after being injured in a fire. As Christmas approaches, Carlie discovers that she has more in common with Derek than being alone. But Derek’s wounds are more than just skin deep. Will they spend the holidays haunted by the ghosts of the past, or could this Christmas spark a new, beautiful friendship…or even something more?

The box was being so damn stubborn. Lights, it said on the side. Couldn't have a tree with no lights. And this year, Carlie was going to have a tree. It seemed like every year getting the decorations down got worse, and there was nothing she could do to make Christmas any easier. The box was just symbolic of how bad everything had gotten over the last three years since Dan left her.
Carlie blew a strand of hair out of her face and balanced on the pull-down ladder. This shouldn't be so hard. She really didn't have that many Christmas decorations. Every time she put things away after Christmas, she got rid of something. Lights that had worn out, or ratty garland...something always went in the trashcan or the donation box. Usually, both. And she hadn't bought any new decorations during the last four years.
She'd known her marriage was headed due south then. A year later, she was divorced. Being alone every year didn't get any easier than dragging all this damn Christmas stuff out of the attic. Sometimes, she thought maybe she was getting rid of Christmas, little by little. It would take a miracle to make her care—really care—if Christmas even came next year. But this year, for the first time in the memorable past, she had the week off.
She pulled hard, and the bulky box freed up quickly, nearly sending her sprawling backward off the ladder. She caught herself just in time, adrenaline pumping through her. She backed down the ladder, the box in her arms.
Just as Carlie managed to set it inside the laundry room, the phone rang.
"Oh, huh-uh. I am not going back to work." She'd put in for a week's vacation over a year ago. She hadn't had Christmas off for the last four years. Working as an ER nurse in one of Oklahoma City's major hospitals had not afforded her much opportunity for any time off at all over the last eight years—especially not during the holidays.
She reached for the phone and checked the caller ID, a smile replacing the earlier scowl as she pushed the 'talk' button. "Hello, Uncle Rick. How's my favorite uncle?"
"I hope that's true."
Carlie could hear the smile in his voice. "You know it is."
"I've got a favor to ask, honey."
"Anything." The hesitation in his tone made her curious.
"Well...don't promise it before you know what I'm going to ask." He drew a breath, then said, "Remember a couple of days ago, when two of my men were brought in there at Mercy for smoke inhalation?"
"Yes. That fire over on Shartel—"
"That's right. Kevin de la Rosa and Derek Pierce."
Carlie had been on duty that night. The two firefighters' equipment malfunctioned and they barely made it back outside the burning home before they collapsed. Carlie had taken a keen interest in them, since they'd been under her uncle's command. He'd been sick with worry.
"Kevin's back home with his wife and kids."
"But Derek—" He broke off, and Carlie knew he was unsure as to how to proceed.
She smiled. "I know he was supposed to be released today or tomorrow. He was a little more severely affected." I know because I checked up on him.
"Yeah, they're gonna release him this afternoon. But he needs someone with him. I mean, he has to do the breathing treatments every four hours— I know he won't do that on his own."
"Typical man," Carlie teased.
Rick laughed, then sobered. "There's more to it than that, though, honey. A year ago, he lost his brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces to a Christmas fire. It's coming up on the first anniversary of their deaths, and he's alone. He's recovering from the smoke inhalation, and by the way, you were right. He did have a couple of busted ribs. I know your team was the first to see them when they were brought in."

Carlie's mind went back to the night when Derek Pierce and the other firefighter, de la Rosa, had been brought in. Derek had been in worse shape than his buddy. His dark hair was matted with sweat and grit from battling the flames. Soot and grime smudged his face, layering on his olive skin across his cheekbones. He had been handsome, even in that condition. She remembered the tingle that ran through her when his eyes cracked open and met hers.



  1. Grrr. Lost my comment. So, I was saying:
    Hi Cheryl,

    It's interesting to see that you write more contemporary stories as well as western/western historical. Way to go, my friend. I'm proud of you.

    As for "Will they spend the holidays haunted by the ghosts of the past, or could this Christmas spark a new, beautiful friendship…or even something more?" I have the strange feeling it will be more, much much more. :)

    1. LOL LIETTE! You are clairvoyant! Yes, I think it's safe to say that they will develop a friendship that becomes more...much much more! I love this beautiful new cover Livia did for me, too. I enjoy these contemporary stories--they're lots of fun to write and sometimes I think...I need to make that into a longer story!

      Thanks for coming by, Liette!

  2. First of all, just let me say I am amazed at all the many and inventive ways you find to injure and half-kill your heroes, Cheryl. Gees. I can relate to Carlie about wanting to work on the holidays (not in the ER. Lordy. Holidays are busier than other days.) I not only wanted to work all the holidays in CCU after my husband and I separated, but I signed up for double shifts so all I had to do was go home to sleep. It was a miserable time. I made bookoos of money though and shopped like a fool.
    I love this cover, Cheryl. Oh the magic hands of Livia.
    I'm going to say this, just speaking for myself, and I know someone will shoot me for it, but I think contemporaries in the places I know well (East Coast) are easier to write than any other stories I write. I don't know why I don't write more of them.
    Any how, I know this single short is going to be a big success. All good things to your corner of the earth, Cheryl.

    1. Sarah,
      I so agree with you re: Cheryl's inventive ways of injuring and half-kill her heroes. She's good. She's so very good. :)

    2. Sarah, I picture all the people in the medical field who read my books sitting there going..."REALLY?" shaking their heads...then going, " just not sure that could happen like that..." LOL I think you're right about the contemporaries being easier to write, in some ways. You don't ever have to worry about "did they have" this or that. And the language...You know, we had taped some of the new episodes of NCIS and tonight we were watching one where they had some flashbacks to 1969. And one of the characters said, "Works for me." Not only was it totally out of place in that time period, but the writers must have been hung up on it, because I counted and that phrase was used at least three times during the episode, in all time periods from 1969 to present day. I don't remember EVER hearing that phrase until just the last few years. Anyhow, I digress. Livia did a wonderful, fantastic job on the cover--so hot, and this story deserves a very hot cover because...well, it's pretty dang hot. LOL

      I'm so glad I keep you entertained and wondering how I'm going to hurt the next guy. You know, I do have a couple of stories where that's already happened and they're just getting over it. This one, and Always and Forever both involve firefighters who were injured--in Always and Forever, the hero was rescuing a mama dog and her babies from a burning house. What's not to love???? Oh, and in A Heart for a Heart, he hadn't been injured, but was home from Iraq to see to his nephew and had to decide if he was going to re-enlist or not. Man, I kind of feel like Iet these guys down somehow... LOL


  3. Aw, thanks, Liette! I appreciate that, and I'm so glad you, like Sarah, are waiting to see how the next one gets injured...LOLLOL

  4. Well, guess what, y'all? I'm giving copies to both of you since you were the only two who showed up here! LOL I'll e-mail you your Smashwords code in the morning when I'm more "normal"--(whatever that might be)!

    Thanks to you both for stopping by!

    1. Merci, merci, merci beaucoup, Cheryl. Hmmm, I just wonder what your "normal" is.

      Hugs to you,


  5. Thank you so much Cheryl. I know it's going to be a great story--and you know I'll be critiquing your ER nurse. LOL I have to confess, I watch the news about the Eboli epidemic, and think how inadequate some people have been in keeping isolation protocol and preventing infected people from entering public places. I admire the spirit of the doctor who survived and is donating plasma to help those stricken. Did I just go off on a vent? LOL Anyway, thank you so much for giving me a copy of White Christmas.

    1. Why oh why don't they stop people from coming into the US who've been there where it's going on? They need some new rules, for sure. I think everyone is upset and worried about what this could turn into if not checked.

      I hope you enjoy White Christmas, Sarah!